Weekly Economic Update
MidAmerica Financial Resources Presents:
“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
- Sophia Loren
Sometimes life hands you big surprises that affect your finances. On such occasions, your long-term investment or retirement strategy may need to be reassessed.
What 10-letter word (in English) can you type out using only the topmost row of letters on a computer keyboard (the Q-P row)? Hint: the first two letters of the word are next to each other in the Q-P row.
Last week’s riddle:
I have a horn and am almost as large as a car, but I will never honk my horn or outrun a car or truck. What might I be?
Last week’s answer:
April 28, 2014
CONSUMER OPTIMISM INCREASES
At a final April mark of 84.1, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit a 9-month high. It climbed 4.1 points above the final March reading. The survey’s sub-index of current economic conditions came in at a 7-year high of 98.7.1
HOME SALES TAIL OFF
While the National Association of Realtors announced only a 0.2% retreat in existing home sales for March, the Census Bureau noted a 14.5% plunge in new home sales on the month. Shrinking inventory, rising mortgage rates and less groundbreaking have helped cool the housing market. Existing home sales have increased in only one month out of the last eight.2
RISING DEMAND FOR BIG-TICKET ITEMS
Hard goods orders were up 2.6% in March, the Census Bureau announced; this was on the heels of a 2.1% rise in February. Minus transportation orders, the gain was still 2.0%. Analysts polled by Briefing.com had forecast merely a 2.0% improvement in the headline number.3
UKRAINE TENSIONS WEIGH ON STOCKS
Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s debt rating to BBB- on Friday. As investors weren’t terribly thrilled by earnings last week to begin with, minor weekly declines came for the Dow (0.28% to 16,361.46), Nasdaq (0.49% to 4,075.56) and S&P 500 (0.08% to 1,863.40).4,5,6
THIS WEEK: Monday brings earnings from Buffalo Wild Wings, HealthSouth, Denny’s and Herbalife along with NAR’s report on March pending home sales. On Tuesday, the latest Conference Board consumer confidence index arrives, plus the February S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and quarterly results from eBay, Valero Energy, MGM Resorts, Hertz, Marriott, Merck, Sprint, Twitter, U.S. Steel and Archer-Daniels-Midland and Deutsche Bank. The Federal Reserve makes a policy statement Wednesday; before that, Wall Street gets the March ADP employment report, the first estimate of Q1 GDP from the BEA and earnings from Coca-Cola, First Solar, GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Dutch Shell, Western Digital, Yelp, Zillow, Barrick Gold, Thomson Reuters and Time Warner. Thursday, Fed chair Janet Yellen speaks in Washington, the ISM April factory PMI and March personal spending report appear, new initial claims numbers are out, and Clorox, Cigna, Viacom, ConocoPhillips, Domino’s, Kraft Foods, Expedia, Exxon Mobil, Fluor, Kellogg and LinkedIn post earnings. Friday, the April jobs report and March factory orders report arrive from Washington and China’s official April service sector PMI appears.
Sources: USATODAY.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 4/25/146,7,8,9
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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 - tinyurl.com/n2hh8eh [4/25/14]
2 - denverpost.com/realestatenews/ci_25625267/new-home-sales-fall-14-5-march [4/24/14]
3 - briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2014/04/21-25 [4/25/14]
4 - bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-04-25/russia-s-rating-cut-to-bbb-by-standard-poor-s.html [4/25/14]
5 - google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX:.DJI&ei=KdtaU9iDEe_ZigKvpgE&client=news [4/25/14]
6 - usatoday.com/money/markets/overview/ [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F25%2F13&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F25%2F13&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F25%2F13&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F24%2F09&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F24%2F09&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F24%2F09&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=4%2F26%2F04&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=4%2F26%2F04&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=4%2F26%2F04&x=0&y=0 [4/25/14]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [4/25/14]
9 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [4/25/14]
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Weekly Economic Update